Here I sit outside on the hammock, enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation on this beautiful fall afternoon. Tea Time was a bit different today. After we were all set up to enjoy yet another backyard tea we were pleasantly visited by a long time friend and her two daughters. We invited them to join us for tea time but they had just finished a late lunch and declined. Her daughters gladly took the baby to play with him for a bit, as my friend sat down to share with me the incredible experiences she had this week with the body of Christ. It was wonderful to hear about brothers and sisters surrounding and supporting her during a difficult time in life.
By the time we said goodbye to our visitors and got ready to sit down for tea, Dan and Amy had arrived home from school and were more than happy to join us! Of course by that time, we were running short on time, with evening soccer practices just around the corner. So we skipped the courtship lessons and I took the opportunity to emphasize a few of lifes’ lessons we have experienced recently.
- Some things can’t be fixed….so you are better off listening to and obeying your parents! Ok, so what is that all about? Here is the story. This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I hear Kristen say to Joy – “Mom’s going to be really mad, you better go show her.” Great, I thought….what now? Joy came sheepishly into my room and to my dismay, I saw immediately what was wrong! She had cut her bangs to within 1/2 inch of her forehead! (so much for a professional family photo when Michelle gets home from Africa) The discussion that followed went like this:
Joy – Because it was fun
Mom – Did you think that was ok to do? Did you think Mommy & Daddy would let you cut your own hair?
Joy – No, Mommy
Mom – But you did it anyway because it was fun?
Joy – Yes, Mommy. Can you fix it?
Mom – How can I fix it Joy?
Joy – Can’t you put it back on?
I went on to explain to her that when we do things that we know are wrong or we disobey our Mommy & Daddy that sometimes there are things that can’t be fixed and we have to live with the results. Now perhaps this great analogy was lost on a 4 year old,(and thankfully hair does eventually grow out) but I decided to not let the teens and pre teens in my house miss out on the life lesson, so we talked about how that could relate to them. Yes, it is so true that some things simply can’t be easily fixed and some things simply can’t be fixed at all. Some mistakes, sins or things we decide to do because they look like “fun”, we just have to live with the consequences for life (examples – being lazy and blowing your grades and then not getting into college, taking that first drink or doing drugs that could become a lifelong addiction or driving a car under the influence and killing yourself or someone else, marrying the “wrong” person, giving up our purity & getting a disease or becoming pregnant……and so the list goes on). It is a truth – some things can’t be fixed so be careful of what you decide to do (and listen to your Mom & Dad).
- Hospitality and showing kindness to others (especially the “outcasts”) We needed a bit of review today on what it means to practice hospitality – that we need to make others feel warm and welcome in our home at all times. That we need to sit down and talk with people, ask questions and be interested in the answers. We also talked about showing kindness and compassion to those that society does not treat well…the outcasts. (the socially awkward, the disabled, the mentally slow, the overweight, the disfigured, the loner etc..) I have such a passion for those that society tries to leave behind. Many want life to be “picture perfect” and become uncomfortable when faced with someone who doesn’t look, act or relate like we do. I made a point to remind them of some recent missed opportunities and challenged them to be purposeful this month about seeking out those people that the Lord puts in their paths. (we personally have this opportunity almost every week as a sweet women with cerebral palsy sells books outside our grocery store and is routinely ignored by those who walk quickly by her not wanting to even smile at her) We can all look for those people in life to reach out and say a kind word, give a hug or just a smile. I want my children to grow up with a heart of compassion for the Lords special lambs. (“As much as you have done it to the least of these…You have done it unto me.” said Jesus to his disciples.)
Despite the seriousness of these lessons we did enjoy the afternoon tea and even laughed about Joys “new doo” (and told stories of our own hair cutting experiences…it must be a childhood rite of passage). We chit chatted about Michelle text messaging us today from Spain, Amy’s practical joke in her Dads class, Moms exciting emails from JECHS alumni and baby Daniel’s adorable antics. All in all it was another memorable Tea Time Tuesday.